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Home / UCLA Chancellor Gene Block

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block to step down next year

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block announced Thursday he will be stepping down next summer after leading the top-ranked public university since 2007.

Block spent 29 years at the University of Virginia, where he served for five years as vice president before heading to UCLA.

“Since I became chancellor 16 years ago, UCLA has been my community and my home, a source of endless inspiration, and an indelible part of who I am,” Block said in a statement. “Serving as the leader of our university has been the greatest honor of my life.”

In a statement announcing his departure, UCLA highlighted Block’s key achievements during his tenure, including UCLA ranking as the No. 1 public university for six years running — up from No. 4 when he joined the university.

Block increased student enrollment by 24%, while the university became the first and only UC school to guarantee housing for undergrad students and built 15 residential buildings, according to UCLA.

Block also successfully steered the university through the pandemic.

He has praised the university’s research skills that delivered five Nobel Prizes in 10 years, and nearly doubled external annual research funding, according to UCLA.

Last year, the university launched UCLA South Bay on 35.5 acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and UCLA Downtown, a high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles.

In his final year as chancellor, Block plans to work on the new strategic plan and refine programming for UCLA South Bay and UCLA Downtown properties, among other initiatives.

Block’s tenure was hit by a major scandal involving a former UCLA gynecologist who was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing patients. The case ended up costing the UC system nearly $700 million in settlements.

After stepping down, Block will remain a member of the faculty. He intends to return to the lab and continue his research as a member of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences within the David Geffen School of Medicine and in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology within the UCLA College.

The UC Office of the President will begin a national search for UCLA’s next chancellor.

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